The General Manager, West African Cotton Company Limited (WACOT) Pankaj Chawla, said Nigeria has non-oil revenue of $320 million from exports of sesame, representing 10 per cent of the total sum of $3.2 billion global trade of the cash crop.
Chawla said that Nigeria is among the leading producers of sesame, adding that about 180,000 Metric Tones (MT) were produced annually in the country.
Speaking during the official launching of mass production of sesame in Gumel Local Government area of Jigawa State, the general manager said the country stands to benefit from sesame farming owing to the fact that Chinese farmers have begun to abandon the crop while India ‘s production is hampered by erratic whether condition.
Chawla noted that Nigerian farmers would get an edge due to demand and supply mismatch and good pricing.
He said: “Let me use this opportunity to briefly explain the global scenario of sesame production and how it can benefit us in Nigeria. It is an important cash crop globally. It was originated from India, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Tanzania and Myanmar.
Global production of sesame is around 4.5 million tones out of which 2.0 million tones are traded globally from the import sesame producing countries. Countries like China, Japan, Turkey and Korea are the major buyers of sesame.”
He added: “Nigeria produces around 180,000MT of sesame annually and from our neighbours like Chad and Niger we get about 40,000MT, which when put together gives Nigeria a share of 10per cent of the total. Global trade of sesame. Therefore, the global trade is about $3.2 billion and Nigeria has non-oil revenue of $320 million from export of sesame”, he added
He maintained that the firm’s partnership with the Jigawa government would boost sesame production in the state, noting that the 1.0/ha average yield of the crop would help improve economic life of the people of the state.
Chawla also said that WACOT, having engaged in sesame production business, is also a large producers of cotton with billions of Naira investment in the country, adding that the company has workforce of about 6000 staff.
He appreciated the effort of the Jigawa State government for the agricultural partnership, stressing that the firm is ready to deliver 100per cent in the development of agriculture in the state.
In his address, the Jigawa State deputy governor, Barrister Ibrahim Hassan, restated the government’s willingness to partner with the investors to achieve agricultural development in the state.
According to him, agriculture is the mainstay of the state’s economy, noting that it provides livelihood for over 90per cent of the state’s population.
He added that the state government has identified agriculture as a vehicle to drive the economy of the state forward, saying that the state is 7th largest crop producer in the country with crop value estimated at N644.41 billion.
He further said that the government would mainly focus on agricultural programmes to achieve puberty reduction in the state, adding that it is part of its policies to use agriculture to increase food security, nutrition and contribute to sustainable employment generation and agro-based economic growth.